Anyone worth their lululemons knows smoothies are the new black, thanks to their ability to pack a nutrient punch in a small – and delicious – package. We’ve devised this pick-and-mix guide with nutritionist Kate Callaghan (theholisticnutritionist.com) to make sure you max your mash-up.
“It’s particularly important if your smoothie is a meal,” says Callaghan. “Protein helps you build lean muscle and keeps you satisfied.”
Whey protein Studies have shown that whey protein increases the body’s production of glutathione, a disease-preventing antioxidant.*
Pea protein “The fewer ingredients on the label, the better,” says Callaghan.
Hemp protein This powder is a great option for vegetarians, with a nutty taste.
Cashew nuts Want something unprocessed? These make smoothies deliciously creamy.
“Smoothies are digested more quickly than solid food, so they can cause a blood-sugar spike,” says Callaghan. “Including fat prevents a crash later that leaves you hungry and cranky.”
Full-fat coconut milk (half a cup)
Avocado (a quarter to a half)
Coconut oil (one tablespoon)
Flaxseeds (one tablespoon)
“Carbs give you energy, but don’t fall into the common trap of blending up too much fruit, particularly if you’re trying to lose weight,” says Callaghan. “One piece – or around a cup – is plenty.”
Banana High in energy, just one is great for post-workout boosts.
Berries Low in sugar, a handful is also an antioxidant bomb.
Sweet potato Packed with vitamins, a few chunks are a low-GI way to add sweetness.
Pumpkin An easy way to boost your fibre intake, add a cup plus cinnamon for a pumpkin-pie flavour.
“We should be having at least four cups of vegies a day,” says Callaghan. “Adding a cup of greens to a smoothie helps you hit that target.”
Spinach Fresh or frozen, it’s loaded with energy-boosting magnesium.
Kale Steam this green first and get more of the many nutrients.
Cucumber The flesh hydrates; the skin is full of vitamin A.
Herbs Mint can help soothe stomachs, while basil can reduce inflammation.
Maxing out on fruit in your smoothie can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, which will make you hungrier and could cause weight gain, so make sure you keep it balanced
For the bulk of your smoothie, opt for milk for something filling, or mix with lighter liquids for a pick-me-up.
Full-fat dairy A complex combo of protein, fats and carbohydrates.
Coconut water Hydrating and great for post-workout.
Plain water Keep it simple!
Nut milk If you’re hungry, opt for this alternative’s higher fat and protein content.
These are optional extras, says Callaghan, who picked these superfoods for their ability to live up to the hype. Even in small amounts, they taste great and will supercharge your smoothie.
Tablespoon of chia seeds Calcium, protein and plenty of omega-3 fatty acids make these a great all-rounder.
Teaspoon of spirulina A detoxer’s favourite, the green giant is packed with vitamins and minerals.
Teaspoon of maca Helpful in balancing hormones, maca may also help enhance fertility.
Teaspoon of açaì This South American berry is an antioxidant heavy hitter, with more than double the amount found
*International Journal Of Food Sciences And Nutrition Vol. 58, No. 6 (2007); International Journal Of Food Sciences And Nutrition Vol. 55, No. 2 (2004)
See linked recipes below to try some of our delicious smoothie concoctions.